January 25, 2021

CABLE | Sound and 'WandaVision' – Marvel Channels the Sitcom

Elizabeth Olsen Evan Peters | Marvel's WandaVision | Scarlet Witch Quicksilver | Disney Plus
Marvel Studios
Stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany revisit their Avengers characters, Scarlet Witch and Vision, through sitcom television history in the trippy new throwback miniseries WandaVision created by screenwriter Jac Schaeffer. It's a highly original, surreal take on comic book storytelling using the half-hour comedy format to explore its strange universe of superheroes.

Director Matt Shakman, who helms every episode, channels the style of a different classic sitcom structure from The Dick Van Dyke Show to Bewitched and The Brady Brunch in each of the first three episodes with the limited series aiming to move into more modern television formats. Marvel Studios' first foray into television production, WandaVision is initially coy with its loose MCU connections never explaining how exactly these two underserved cinematic characters are in this environment or how a reanimated Vision, who was famously murdered by the evil Thanos in Infinity War, appears.

Scene-stealer Kathryn Hahn stands out as the nosey neighbour archetype with a few fun character types peppered throughout. All the strange elements suggest a slowly simmering sinister feel. Perhaps some kind of simulation or mind prison is being employed to keep the increasingly powerful Wanda in check. But who knows? Regardless, Olsen and Bettany are wonderful and get so much more to do while exercising their considerable talents and comedic chops.

WandaVision takes a very weird, throwback approach to its storytelling inspired but not really sticking to fidelity to Marvel Comics runs like Tom King's Vision or House of M. This clever series certainly feels like a novel way to introduce fans to more long-form sophisticated storytelling paving the way for a more ambitious Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

WandaVision is available to stream weekly on Disney+.

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